Well, hello there, fellow steemians! Today I want to take a look at Burnout Paradise and pick it apart little by little. Why this game at this moment in time? I recently bought the remastered version and I got hooked by it.
So, firstly, what makes this game special? Well, that can be answered from a multitude of points of view: it is the last Burnout game (at least the last game carrying the Burnout name, looking at you Need for Speed Most Wanted 2012), and it also is the only open world Burnout game.
So what, the game is open world, big deal. Yes, it is a big deal, because there are no race routes. The only things which are constant in a race are the beginning and ending points. The route is up to the racer. Add to that the fact that the game has no GPS routes and the action does not pause when you look at the map, so learning Paradise City's every nook and cranny is mandatory to get an edge in races. Things are even more interesting, because the finish lines are not just random points. Every type of race ends at one of eight points on the map, so learning routes is made very easy on the player.
So, race design is really unique and actually really fun, but what about the other moving parts of the game? There are numerous cars, and all of them drive amazingly well, you feel the weight of your car and you can intuitively drift around every corner. By the end of the first hour, you will do the titular burnouts and weave through traffic like a champ, so props to Criterion for a very meaty driving experience.
Now, collectibles are dreadful in open world games, usually. In here, they are really...thematic. You can unlock shortcuts by driving through yellow chainlink fences, do stunt jumps, find Burnout Paradise billboards and solve a little exploration puzzle in order to smash them to pieces and you can set a par time for every road in the game to make it yours. They manage to never get boring, because they are diverse enough and useful enough to warrant seeking them out.
Everything you can do in the game centers around driving and destroying stuff, but with a small intellectual twist of having to find the fastest route from A to B during the high octane races. The game forces you to be aggressive and even reckless sometimes, but it rewards you all the time, either with a win, or a spectacular crash in which impacts are shown in slow motion.